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Beijing and Shanghai Now Linked By High Speed Train

Beijing and Shanghai linked by high speed train service

Chinese link Beijing and Shanghai with high speed train service

A high speed train linking Beijing and Shanghai made its debut for passengers on Thursday, on a track which cost the Chinese $33 billion, in the hope that it will help to ease the overloaded transportation system there.

At Beijing South rail station, Premier Wen Jiabao declared the link “in operation”, and then he boarded the first white train taking passengers to Shanghai which is the country’s commercial hub 1,318 km away. The trip took less than five hours. The launch was on the eve of celebrations to mark the 90th birthday of the Communist Party in China, and this rail line is expected to be  a key to “improving the modern transport system… and satisfying people’s traveling needs,: Jiabao said.

The train cuts in half the rail travel time between these two major cities, and has been operating in trials since mid May. It can carry over 80 million passengers a year which is twice its previous capacity, and averages 300 km per hour.

In 2010 there were 8,358 kilo meters of high speed rail in the network, and that will increase to 13,000 km by 2012, and 16,000 kilo meters by 2020, as China invests heavily in its high speed rail network.

The Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge also opened on Thursday, reducing travel time for those wishing to travel to the other side of the bay from Qingdao to Jiaozhou, or vice versa, as China invests heavily in its transport system.

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